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10 More Unbelievable Facts You Didn't Know About Hello Kitty

She's 40, lives in England, and worth over 7 billion dollars.

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This summer we learned Hello Kitty, the global personification of kitsch-cute, was not a cat after all, but a third grader named "Kitty White" who lives with her parents and twin sister in London. Wait, WHAT?

While she does in fact own a cat, fans were upset by the announcement, and felt betrayed by parent company, Sanrio, for dropping the bombshell news 40 YEARS LATER. Here's a few more facts you probably didn't know about Hello Kitty:

1. Over 22,000 Hello Kitty products exist today, and Sanrio creates 100-200 new products each month.

2. On her 35th anniversary, Sanrio and creator Yuko Shimizu designed a custom Hello Kitty doll with 19,636 encrusted diamonds. It's worth $152,585.

3. The first Hello Kitty product ever sold in Japan was a vinyl coin purse for 240 Yen (or $3.07) in 1974.

The character made her first appearance in the U.S. two years later.

The character made her first appearance in the U.S. two years later.

4. Hello Kitty is now worth $7 billion dollars (and Sanrio has never spent a dime on advertising).

View this video on YouTube

Via YouTube

This is largely due to the company's lucrative collaborations with artists and fashion designers.

5. Hello Kitty has her own theme park, airline, restaurant, music album, dental clinic, and maternity hospital.

The maternity hospital is famous for its Hello Kitty blankets, and she's the first thing newborns see when they enter the world.

The maternity hospital is famous for its Hello Kitty blankets, and she's the first thing newborns see when they enter the world.

6. Hello Kitty made her TV debut in 1987, and until then only existed as an image on merchandise.

In the first episode we learn that Kitty has a twin sister named Mimmy and lives with her parents, Mr. & Mrs. White...

NO RELATION

7. Hello Kitty’s faceless expression is her major selling-point across most age groups and markets.

By utilizing minimal characteristics, Hello Kitty's zen-like calmness invokes a broad range of projected emotions, ideas, and "embellishments."

By utilizing minimal characteristics, Hello Kitty's zen-like calmness invokes a broad range of projected emotions, ideas, and "embellishments."

8. Despite her popularity, Sanrio is still struggling to create new characters that can match her success:

Ladies and gentlemen, the company's latest horrifying creation, "Bonbonribbon."

Ladies and gentlemen, the company's latest horrifying creation, "Bonbonribbon."

9. Hello Kitty is not just for young girls anymore. To stay competitive, Sanrio also offers motor oil, wine, male underwear, and smart cars -- even sex toys!

10. Did you know Hello Kitty's bow colors have different meanings? Red represents Friendship, Pink represents Cute, Yellow represents Heartful, Green represents Wish, and Lavender represents Sweet.

Happy 40th, Kitty White.

To see the original 10 Things You Didn't Know About Hello Kitty, click here.

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